Human Maximum Lifespan Can Be Broken in Four Decades [Study]


Human lifespan and its maximum limit has been one of the integral topics that scientists have studied and debated on for years. Previous research showed that scientists placed 150 years to be the limit of human age.

The longevity record of the world's oldest person goes to Jean Louise Calment, a French woman born in February 1875 and died as 122 years old in August 1997 in Arles, France.

To clarify, Calment is the oldest human ever recorded and the only verified one to have lived beyond 120, which means there could also be undocumented individuals with greater or lesser age prior to modern history.

Nevertheless, the current record held by Calment has reportedly drawn media attention and scientific inquiry, with regards to her health and lifestyle.

Previous studies and prevailing assessment of health authorities indicate that the maximum human lifespan is primarily based on the biological processes, genetic traits, and overall health of a person.

However, experts also agree that other factors such as the environment, lifestyle, diseases, and access to quality healthcare can also affect human longevity.

Now, a new study led by researchers from the United States explore the gray area of human life expectancy. Using a mathematical model, the research team assert that we are nowhere closer in reaching the set human maximum lifespan of 150 but predict the longevity record of 122 can be broken in the next four decades.

Declining Life Expectancy

No person has exceeded the lifespan of Calment for the past 25 years since her death in 1997. This current data is combined with recent reports of declining life expectancy not only in the US but also in other countries. As a result, a speculation reportedly emerged suggesting that our human longevity could already reached a biological limit, based on a March 29 news release by the University of Georgia.

In relation to the new study, the university's Terry College of Business and its researchers examined human mortality rate throughout centuries in 19 countries to arrive at their conclusion, as mentioned earlier.

Published in PLOS ONE, the study by the university's assistant professor, David McCarthy, and his team are optimistic in relation to the reported declining life expectancy. According to the media release, McCarthy refutes the speculation and points out that such expectancy has been increasing.

Human Maximum Lifespan

The University of Georgia researchers analyzed both previous and current population mortality statistics among persons aged between 50 and 100 years old in 19 industrialized countries. McCarthy explains there are large generational differences in the said reports about the declining life expectancy.

The professor highlighted, in the US, mortality probabilities have risen for individuals belonging to the middle age and younger groups. Yet, mortality rates of older people in the US have been improving faster since the introduction of Medicare.

In dispute to the study, Stuart Jay Olshanky, a professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and was not involved in the study, stated lifespan is a biological phenomenon and not a mathematical one, as cited by Live Science.

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